With the subject of fatherhood at the forefront of so many topics in our society today, let us consider both our earthly and heavenly Father. I am fortunate to still have my dad who has always been a good provider, loving, and at the same time a disciplinarian. No matter what my brothers and I did, we knew that daddy still loved us, even though there was punishment for breaking his rules. No matter where I was, or what I had done, I knew I could always call him and he would come get me. The same is true with our heavenly Father.
There are many who do not, nor have ever known the presence of a loving dad in their life. While this is a sad truth becoming more and more prevalent, it does not mean that one has to grow up feeling unloved, unprotected, or at a disadvantage. While I may have had an earthly father to look after me, there are many situations from my past that, even though I was taught differently, I made poor decisions. And while I may give my dad credit for things I did right, I can’t blame him for things I did wrong. The truth is, he gets credit for good decisions because I chose to listen, and the bad choices were the times I chose not to. When we know right from wrong, we are responsible. It doesn’t matter if those values were passed on from a mom, dad, grandparent, foster parent, teacher, church worker, athletic coach or a friend that loves us. We are still responsible for putting that knowledge into practice.
The same is true with our heavenly Father. When things are going good, it’s easy to praise Him, but when things go wrong we have a tendency to blame Him. We begin to question all that we have been taught with thoughts such as, “If He was a loving God He would not have let this happen” or “If there really was a God people would not have to suffer.” We had rather place blame than follow His teaching from the Bible and receive the love, joy, peace and comfort that He has promised. We must choose to obey if we expect to receive his promises.
I want to encourage you today, that whether or not you have an earthly father to call on, please know you have a heavenly Father that loves you and tells us in His word that He will never leave you, nor forsake you. Jesus said in Matthew 6:8, “…for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” He knows you need love, comfort, friendship, money to live, and peace of mind. Just because He knows, we still need to ask. All of our relationships require communication or else the relationship will cease to exist. Keep that in mind whether you have lost touch with your dad, or feel that your heavenly Father is too far away. You need only call on Him!
I pray, “Father, thank you for loving me and sending your Son to die for me. In spite of all my earthly circumstances, you have always been there for me. Forgive me when I harbor ill feelings for others when I was the one who made a poor decision. What a wonderful feeling to know that I’m forgiven and my sin debt has been paid. Thank you for every person in my life that has taught me of you, bless them, in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.